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Wax model assembly


I’m working on a wax model for a ring in which I need to attach
multiple parts together. My question is: there is bar with 6
channel-set stones that crosses over the main stone, but there is
enough room to set the main stone with it in place, should I attach
it before casting, or cast it separately and solder it on with the
main stone already set? Also, what is the best way to attach pieces
of wax together? I’ve tried melting it together with terrible
results. I really appreciate any help as this is my first time
doing anything like this. -steve


Hi Steve, It sounds like you would have a neater job if you cast each
piece seperately, then soldered them together. However, if you
choose to cast it as one, I recently discovered what may be the
perfect “glue” for attaching wax pieces when welding is not pratical
(either in the wax or metal). I have tried many things, from crazy
glue to making my own wax glue, none of which worked very well, but
this new discovery seems to do the trick and is very neat. Many
years ago I was experimenting with printmaking using etched plates
and had purchased a pint of etching resist. This is a dark, shellac
like material that goes on relatively thick and does not quite
harden. In etching you cover your copper plate with this material
and then, with a scribe, scratch off your drawing prior to etching it
with acid. Using it to attach two pieces of wax (in my case carving
wax, but I’m sure it would work with other types of wax) is as simple
as painting some on one or both of the surfaces, positioning them,
and letting them sit for quite some time, a couple of hours or more.
You can clean up any that squeezes out from the seam with the tip of
a toothpick, and it is quite easy to do. I wish I could give you a
name brand or more detail, but what I have is in an unmarked can I
purchased 30 years ago. However, I think any good art supply store
will have what you need, and be sure to experiment to see how the
product you get works before using it on your ring. Good luck!


what is the best way to attach pieces of wax together? 

Hi Steve, The cool thing about wax modelmaking is you can join
pieces that have large gaps (unlike soldering metal- a tight fit in
wax is not essential). I carve medium (purple) File-a-Wax. To join
pieces together: 1. Position the pieces exactly where I want them*.
2. With a hot dental pick or fine tipped wax pen poke in between the
two pieces to be joined. 3. Carefully look around the piece to make
sure everything is arranged to your liking- if it needs adjusting you
can easily pivot or move things around- I love tacking the pieces it
gives me the luxury or wiggling stuff around before committing to
their placement). 4. When everything is lined up right I tack it
(poke in the seam with a hot tool) again. 6. Check that everything is
lined up right. If not, go back to step 3. 7. pick up some hard
(green) File-a-Wax with a wax pen or hot tool. Poke into the seam (
To keep the pieces from shifting, I like to go through a third of the
length of the seam- let it cool, do the next third, let it cool- then
finish the last third.) 8. Make sure you fill the entire gap- if you
only seal the surface of the crack it will break or it may fill with
investment. 9. At the very end of the project I use inlay wax to
touch up surface imperfections. *Some things I’ve used to temporarily
hold wax in the right position while I tack it: Play doh or Heat
Shield compound- these clays can be rinsed off after the pieces are
joined. Double stick tape on flat surface or crumpled up to the
right size and shape. Foam- I found some foam insulation material
that I cut up and shape to hold pieces. For rings- hold the pieces
on the mandrel at the right size. Crazy glue - (warning this is to be
used at the very end of the project as it is hard to scrape or file
this and have it blend in with the wax). For more on joining wax and
why green wax is used for repairs check out this post on the
archives: I
hope this helps! Kate Wolf, Portland Maine- offering Wax Carving and
other Workshops


Dear Steve, Are you using an electric pen? If so, yes you are having
problems, because it keeps wax liquid and will then liquify what you
are trying to weld. This wax assembly is the perfect place to use a
needle and an alcohol lamp. I have gone to the med school book store
and have biology teasing needles, but you can put a needle in a dowel
rod. You need an alcohol lamp, because I don’t know of other heat
sources that will not cause soot. Heat the needle and I use certain
injection waxes that are low on carvibility and low on flow for
delicacy with hi flex and hi memory as they have a better surface
tension and cohese to itself well. There is a Kerr Perfect purple
that is good for somethings, but you could do all you need with
injection wax. I saw where engraving resist was recc’mmd and that
sound wonderful, but I think the main thing is not to use an electric
pin as it does not cool. By using a pin that cools it will transfer
heated liquid wax to the model or armature without messing up what
you have to begin with. Don’t be discouraged and practice it, give it
some time, and you will find it an investment in your ability to do other
wax work. Jay Cardwell